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Fitness program for the brain

08 March 20173 min reading

“The consequences of outdated control or automation prone to defects are obvious: Breakdowns reduce the availability of the plant due to unexpected downtime, missing functionalities reduce competitiveness and can lead to lower yield and quality.”

Silvan TRUNZ Bühler AG Automation Grain Milling buhlerag_silvantrunz87While the mechanics of plant parts from, for example, a roller mill, a cleaning machine, or an extruder can be maintained at a good level for decades, the life expectancy of control and automation is much shorter. The development of software and hardware is so rapid that updates and the necessary electronic spare parts are quickly no longer available. The result: The brain of a plant ages, while the body continues to operate with optimal performance. In addition, the requirements for food producers are intensified by legal regulations or market developments. Control and automation must continually feature new functionalities such as product tracking and online measurement of quality parameters or validations.

FITNESS PROGRAM FOR OLD MACHINES The consequences of outdated control or automation prone to defects are obvious: Breakdowns reduce the availability of the plant due to unexpected downtime; missing functionalities reduce competitiveness and can lead to lower yield and quality.

To facilitate the modernization of production plants in the food industry, Bühler has developed a fitness program for control and automation. The Automation Retrofit Service Concept consists of an entire catalog of solutions, whose portfolio is continuously updated. It covers all levels of automation: machine control, electrical and communications infrastructure, as well as hardware and software for plant controls.

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS Not every ailing control and automation system requires the same retrofit package. Bühler specialists inspect every plant in great detail and design customized solutions – even for plants of third parties. Once the fitness program has been defined, the preliminary work is completed mostly in the offices and laboratories of Bühler. On-site work includes the installation of new hardware and, if necessary, minor adjustments to individual plant parts. After extensive testing, the conversion takes place within a very short time, minimizing production downtime.

BENEFITS FOR OUR CUSTOMERS Depending on the scope of the fitness program, the benefits for the plant operator are great or at times even massive. By simply upgrading the software, the probability of breakdowns occurring and feared downtimes are reduced. In general, the availability of the plant is improved. The retrofit program also increases the level of automation, improving efficiency and the quality of production due to continuous measurements and advanced control circuits. Furthermore, continuous production data enables decisions to be made faster and more accurately. Finally, modernization of control and automation reduces costs. Expenditure for maintenance and servicing is reduced. In addition, possible investments in the plant can be carried out at a later date thanks to improved automation. And last but not least, optimized plants consume less energy.

ADDED VALUE • Yield improvement • Less energy consumption • Efficiency increase • Higher availability • Increased operational security • Higher food safety • More uptime • Data-driven decisions • Lower depreciation • Improved warehouse management

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